Let me start by properly introducing myself. My name is Nik Voorend, and I’m a 23-year old Dutch student of International Communication Management who has landed as an intern at the Curaçao Footprint Foundation, which you all know from the online magazine Caribbean Footprint. For the next five months or so, I’ll be contributing regularly to Caribbean Footprint with my own blog. What will I be writing about, you ask? The answer to that is simple. I’ll be writing about my time here on Curaçao, and especially at the Curaçao Footprint Foundation. I’ll be writing about the people I work with, the sights I see, the stories I hear and the events which impress and inspire me. And about the time I spend in Curaçao nature. I might not be a walking encyclopedia like Leon Pors and Michelle da Costa Gomez, and I might not have an impressive background in biology or geology, but I sure do love nature. The reason I came here, to Curaçao and to the Curaçao Footprint Foundation, is because I’m eager to explore, eager to see and eager to learn. Through my blog I hope to share my experiences in the next five months and spread the positive vibe that has already taken control over me.
Enough about me (for now), let’s get started with the real blog. For my first ever entry I would like to tell you about my first proper introduction to Curaçao’s beautiful nature, which was last Saturday when I joined in the Photography Walk in the Christoffelpark. Leon and Michelle took me, and thirteen other highly motivated photography enthusiasts into a part of the park that is usually not open for visitors, to show us a side of Curaçao only few are lucky to witness.
We started off on low ground, with the assignment to look for colour in nature. Although I have been in several natural parks in my life, I had never experienced them the way I did that Saturday. Attention for detail, however small, appeared to be the key to making unusual and beautiful pictures. Looking around me I did not only notice the colour, but I also witnessed the other participants bending over backwards with their cameras to get their shots just right. It felt great to be surrounded by a group of people that enthusiastic, who were enjoying nature just like me. And it felt great to be guided by the extensive knowledge of our hosts, Leon and Michelle. With a few great shots and some necessary camera practice we set off by car to a higher area in the park.
After a short stop at Seru Gracia, where we not only enjoyed the views but also Curaçao’s only indigenous palm tree, the colourful blossom of the Yerba Di Glas (Morning Glory), the strange yet wonderful colours of the rocks and the beautiful white orchid flowers, we drove off once more, this time to stop at the starting point of the walk up to Seru Bientu (Windy hill). First we enjoyed a delicious lunch, after which we went on up by foot.
The top lived up to its name, with the wind impressively demonstrating the strength of nature. Although the wind seemed the most likely candidate to blow us away, it was something else that did; the views. Not in a million years could I have suspected that Curaçao had such wide, green views to offer. Green forest all around, with the sea behind it, like a postcard ready to be send out.
Luckily we had practised to pay attention to detail on lower ground, because even though the temptation to only shoot landscape pictures was strong, our earlier assignment encouraged us to look for beauty in the small things, even here.
On the way back I talked to a few of the others, about the sights we had seen, our favorite pictures and the overall greatness of the entire day. Eight hours after we began walking, we were back at the starting point. The day left me with 517 pictures, tired legs, a sweaty T-shirt and a heavily sunburned face (learn from my mistakes people, bring sunblock!), but most of all it left me looking forward to exploring more of this beautiful island.